Cascoly Travel -- Europe: Bulgaria - Veliko Tarnovo
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Cascoly Travel
Europe: Bulgaria - Veliko Tarnovo

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    Veliko Turnovo, Once the capital of Bulgaria (1185-1396) it still shows fortress walls and palaces perched among the steep cliffs of the Yantra Gorge. Clinging to the crags that rise above the River Yantra, this capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom of the Middle Ages is one of the country's most picturesque sites. It rises on three main hills: fortified Tsarevets; Trapezitsa, where boyars lived; and Sveta Gora, then the centre of a scholarly monastery, now a university site.

    The most significant monument of culture here is the medieval fortress Tsarevets, surrounded on three sides by the river Yantra. Excavations show a medieval town, including the palace, the church “St. Petka”, multiple residential and economic buildings, water reservoirs and battle towers. The Patriarch’s residence was on the highest part of Tsarevets, and the Patriarch’s church “The Ascension of Christ” was also in close proximity.

    On the Yantra river, is the “ Forty Holy Martyrs” church, constructed in honor of the triumph of Tsar Ivan Asen II (1218 – 1241) over the Epir Despot Teodor Komnin (1180 –1273). The Bulgarian tsars Kaloyan (1168 – 1207), Ivan Asen II were buried here, as well as many other members of the royal families and the Bulgarian aristocracy.

    The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (Katharevousa ) were a group of Roman soldiers in the Legio XII Fulminata (Armed with Lightning) whose died for their faith on the Black Sea coast.They were killed near the city of Sebaste, in Lesser Armenia (present-day Sivas in Turkey), victims of the persecutions of Licinius, who after 316, persecuted the Christians of the East. The earliest account of their existence and martyrdom is given by Bishop Basil of Caesarea (370–379) in a homily he delivered on their feast day

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